Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lets Celebrate our Freedom

Pakistan is about to celebrate its 63rd Independence Day. We have come a long way together, leaving behind a lot of pleasant and sad moments. Independence Day is not about celebration only. It is the time of the year where we must focus on the key issues and learn from our past mistakes. This particular day demands a lot more than just a formal celebration.
Some constructive measures are required to make this day more special and memorable. After attending the meeting of PYO, I have come to know about some great steps they have taken regarding the Independence Day. I am supporting this great cause and I have assured them that ‘ I Own Pakistan ‘ will give its full cooperation.
Main idea is to go to Mubarak Village on 13th of August. Mubarak Village is a backward village on the seashore near French Beach. It also suffered during the recent heavy spell of monsoon. We will go there in the morning to distribute medicines, clothes, flags, badges, bangles and flyers. After that a small workshop will be conducted to give awareness regarding Independence Day and life in general.
Then it will be followed by a football match where a winning team will get a shield. In the end a flag of Pakistan will be placed in the middle of the village and national anthem will be performed by all.
Next day on our Independence Day, we can wake up with the feeling that we have done something constructive this year. Are you with me regarding this cause? Please feel free to write if you have any reservation as far as this plan is concerned.
Things Needed:
Food Stuff for distribution
Clothes (New for male & Female either its raw material)
Color pencils & Drawing books
Big Flag To put it on the center of the village

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This is a beautiful and useful site about Pakistan.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Historical background of Pakistan

Pakistan emerged on the world map on August 14,1947. It has its roots into the remote past. Its establishment lwas the culmination of the struggle by Muslims of the South-Asian subcontinent for a separate homeland of their own and its foundation was laid when Mohammad bin Qasim subdued Sindh in 711 A.D. as a reprisal against sea pirates that had taken refuge in Raja Dahir's kingdom.
The advent of Islam further strengthened the historical individuality in the areas now constituting Pakistan and further beyond its boundaries. Stone Age Some of the earliest relics of Stone Age man in the subcontinent are found in the Soan Valley of the Potohar region near Rawalpindi, with a probable antiquity of about 500,000 years. No human skeleton of such antiquity has yet been discovered in the area, but the crude stone implements recovered from the terraces of the Soan carry the saga of human toil and labor in this part of the world to the inter-glacial period. These Stone Age men fashioned their implements in a sufficiently homogenous way to justify their grouping in terms of a culture called the Soan Culture. About 3000 B.C, amidst the rugged wind-swept valleys and foothills of Balochistan, small village communities developed and began to take the first hesitant steps towards civilization. Here, one finds a more continuous story of human activity, though still in the Stone Age.
These pre-historic men established their settlements, both as herdsmen and as farmers, in the valleys or on the outskirts of the plains with their cattle and cultivated barley and other crops. Red and buffer Cultures Careful excavations of the pre-historic mounds in these areas and the classification of their contents, layer by layer, have grouped them into two main categories of Red Ware Culture and Buff Ware Culture. The former is popularly known as the Zhob Culture of North Balochistan, while the latter comprises the Quetta, Amri Nal and Kulli Cultures of Sindh and South Balochistan. Some Amri Nal villages or towns had stone walls and bastions for defence purposes and their houses had stone foundations. At Nal, an extensive cemetery of this culture consists of about 100 graves. An important feature of this composite culture is that at Amri and certain other sites, it has been found below the very distinctive Indus Valley Culture. On the other hand, the steatite seals of Nal and the copper implements and certain types of pot decoration suggest a partial overlap between the two. It probably represents one of the local societies which constituted the environment for the growth of the Indus Valley Civilization.
The pre-historic site of Kot Diji in the Sindh province has provided information of high significance for the reconstruction of a connected story which pushes back the origin of this civilization by 300 to 500 years, from about 2500 B.C.. to at least 2800 B.C. Evidence of a new cultural elements of pre-Harappan era has been traced here. Pre-Harappan Civilization When the primitive village communities in the Balochistan area were still struggling against a difficult highland environment, a highly cultured people were trying to assert themselves at Kot Diji, one of the most developed urban civilizations of the ancient world which flourished between the years 2500 and 1500 B.C. in the Indus Valley sites of Moenjodaro and Harappa. These Indus Valley people possessed a high standard of art and craftsmanship and a well developed system of quasi pictographic writing, which despite continuing efforts still remains undeciphered. The imposing ruins of the beautifully planned Moenjodaro and Harappa towns present clear evidence of the unity of a people having the same mode of life and using the same kind of tools. Indeed, the brick buildings of the common people, the public baths, the roads and covered drainage system suggest the picture of a happy and contented people. Aryan Civilization In or about 1500 B.C., the Aryans descended upon the Punjab and settled in the Sapta Sindhu, which signifies the Indus plain. They developed a pastoral society that grew into the Rigvedic Civilization. The Rigveda is replete with hymns of praise for this region, which they describe as "God fashioned". It is also clear that so long as the Sapta Sindhu remained the core of the Aryan Civilization, it remained free from the caste system. The caste institution and the ritual of complex sacrifices took shape in the Gangetic Valley. There can be no doubt that the Indus Civilization contributed much to the development of the Aryan civilization. Gandhara Culture The discovery of the Gandhara grave culture in Dir and Swat will go a long way in throwing light on the period of Pakistan's cultural history between the end of the Indus Culture in 1500 B.C. and the beginning of the historic period under the Achaemenians in the sixth century B.C. Hindu mythology and Sanskrit literary traditions seem to attribute the destruction of the Indus civilization to the Aryans, but what really happened, remains a mystery. The Gandhara grave culture has opened up two periods in the cultural heritage of Pakistan: one of the Bronze Age and the other of the Iron Age. It is so named because it presents a peculiar pattern of living in hilly zones of the Gandhara region as evidenced in the graves. This culture is different from the Indus Culture and has little relations with the village culture of Balochistan. Stratigraphy as well as the artifacts discovered from this area suggest that the Aryans moved into this part of the world between 1,500 and 600 B.C. In the sixth century B.C., Buddha began his teachings, which later on spread throughout the northern part of the South-Asian subcontinent. It was towards the end of this century, too, that Darius I of Iran organized Sindh and Punjab as the twentieth satrapy of his empire.
There are remarkable similarities between the organizations of that great empire and the Mauryan empire of the third century B.C., while Kautilya's Arthshastra also shows a strong Persian influence, Alexander of Macedonia after defeating Darius III in 330 B.C. had also marched through the South-Asian subcontinent up to the river Beas, but Greek influence on the region appears to have been limited to contributing a little to the establishment of the Mauryan empire. The great empire that Asoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, built in the subcontinent included only that part of the Indus basin which is now known as the northern Punjab. The rest of the areas astride the Indus were not subjugated by him. These areas, which now form a substantial part of Pakistan, were virtually independent from the time of the Guptas in the fourth century A.D. until the rise of the Delhi Sultanate in the thirteenth century. Gandhara Art Gandhara Art, one of the most prized possessions of Pakistan, flourished for a period of 500 years (from the first to the fifth century A.D.) in the present valley of Peshawar and the adjacent hilly regions of Swat, Buner and Bajaur. This art represents a separate phase of the cultural renaissance of the region. It was the product of a blending of Indian, Buddhist and Greco-Roman sculpture. Gandhara Art in its early stages received the patronage of Kanishka, the great Kushan ruler, during whose reign the Silk Route ran through Peshawar and the Indus Valley, bringing great prosperity to the whole area. Advent of Islam The first followers of prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), to set foot on the soil of the South-Asian subcontinent, were traders from the coast land of Arabia and the Persian Gulf, soon after the dawn of Islam in the early seventh century A.D.
The first permanent Muslim foothold in the subcontinent was achieved with Mohammad bin Qasim's conquest of Sindh in 711 A.D. An autonomous Muslim state linked with the Umayyed, and later, the Abbassid Caliphate was established with jurisdiction extending over southern and central parts of present Pakistan. Quite a few new cities were established and Arabic was introduced as the official language. At the time of Mahmud of Ghazna's invasion, Muslim rule still existed, though in a weakened form, in Multan and some other regions. The Ghaznavids (976-1148) and their successors, the Ghaurids (1148-1206), were Central Asian by origin and they ruled their territories, which covered mostly the regions of present Pakistan, from capitals outside India. It was in the early thirteenth century that the foundations of the Muslim rule in India were laid with extended boundaries and Delhi as the capital. From 1206 to 1526 A.D., five different dynasties held sway. Then followed the period of Mughal ascendancy (1526-1707) and their rule continued, though nominally, till 1857. From the time of the Ghaznavids, Persian more or less replaced Arabic as the official language. The economic, political and religious institutions developed by the Muslims bore their unique impression. The law of the State was based on Shariah and in principle the rulers were bound to enforce it. Any long period of laxity was generally followed by reinforcement of these laws under public pressure. The impact of Islam on the South-Asian subcontinent was deep and far-reaching. Islam introduced not only a new religion, but a new civilization, a new way of life and new set of values. Islamic traditions of art and literature, of culture and refinement, of social and welfare institution, were established by Muslim rulers throughout the subcontinent. A new language, Urdu, derived mainly from Arabic and Persian vocabulary and adopting indigenous words and idioms, came to be spoken and written by the Muslims and it gained currency among the rest of the Indian population.

Urdu is the National Language of Pakistan. Apart from religion, Urdu also enabled the Muslim community during the period of its ascendancy to preserve its separate identity in the subcontinent. Urdu is also a Official Language of Pakistan.

Muslim Identity -- The question of Muslim identity, however assumed seriousness during the decline of Muslim power in South Asia. The first person to realize its acuteness was the scholar theologian, Shah Waliullah (1703-62). He laid the foundation of Islamic renaissance in the subcontinent and became a source of inspiration for almost all the subsequent social and religious reform movements of the nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. His immediate successors, inspired by his teachings, tried to establish a modest Islamic state in the north-west of India and they, under the leadership of Sayyed Ahmad Shaheed Barelvi (1786-1831), persevered in this direction. British Expansionism and Muslim Resistance Meanwhile, starting with the East India Company, the British had emerged as the dominant force in South Asia. Their rise to power was gradual extending over a period of nearly one hundred years. They replaced the Shariah by what they termed as the Anglo-Muhammadan law whereas Urdu was replaced by English as the official language. These and other developments had great social, economic and political impact especially on the Muslims of South Asia. The uprising of 1857, termed as the Indian Mutiny by the British and the War of Independence by the Muslims, was a desperate attempt to reverse the adverse course of events. Religious Institutions The failure of the 1857 War of Independence had disastrous consequences for the Muslims as the British placed all the responsibility for this event on them. Determined to stop such a recurrence in future, the British followed deliberately a repressive policy against the Muslims. Properties and estates of those even remotely associated with the freedom fighters were confiscated and conscious efforts were made to close all avenues of honest living for them. The Muslim response to this situation also aggravated their plight. Their religious leaders, who had been quite active, withdrew from the mainstream of the community life and devoted themselves exclusively to imparting religious education. Although the religious academies especially those of Deoband, Farangi Mahal and Rai Bareilly, established by the Ulema, did help the Muslims to preserve their identity, the training provided in these institutions hardly equipped them for the new challenges. Educational Reform The Muslims kept themselves aloof from western education as well as government service. But, their compatriots, the Hindus, did not do so and accepted the new rulers without reservation. They acquired western education, imbibed the new culture and captured positions hitherto filled in by the Muslims. If this situation had prolonged, it would have done the Muslims an irreparable damage. The man to realise the impending peril was Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1889), a witness to the tragic events of 1857. He exerted his utmost to harmonize British Muslim relations. His assessment was that the Muslims' safety lay in the acquisition of western education and knowledge. He took several positive steps to achieve this objective. He founded a college at Aligarh to impart education on western lines. Of equal importance was the Anglo-Muhammadan Educational Conference, which he sponsored in 1886, to provide an intellectual forum to the Muslims for the dissemination of views in support of western education and social reform. Similar were the objectives of the Muhammadan Literary Society, founded by Nawab Adbul Latif (1828-93), active in Bengal, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan's efforts transformed into a movement, known as the Aligarh Movement, and it left its imprint on the Muslims of every part of the South-Asian subcontinent. Under its inspiration, societies were founded throughout the subcontinent which established educational institutions for imparting education to the Muslims.
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was averse to the idea of participation by the Muslims in any organized political activity which, he feared, might revive British hostility towards them. He also disliked Hindu Muslim collaboration in any joint venture. His disillusionment in this regard stemmed basically from the Urdu Hindi controversy of the late 1860s when the Hindu enthusiasts vehemently championed the cause of Hindi to replace Urdu. He, therefore, opposed the Indian National Congress when it was founded in 1885 and advised the Muslims to abstain from its activities. His contemporary and a great scholar of Islam, Syed Ameer Ali (1849-1928), shared his views about the Congress, but, he was not opposed to Muslims organizing themselves politically. In fact, he organised the first significant political body of the Muslims, the Central National Muhammadan Association. Although, its membership was limited, it had more than 50 branches in different parts of the subcontinent and it accomplished some solid work for the educational and political advancement of the Muslims. But, its activities waned towards the end of the nineteenth century. The Muslim League At the dawn of the twentieth century, a number of factors convinced the Muslims of the need to have an effective political organization. Therefore, in October 1906, a deputation comprising 35 Muslim leaders met the Viceroy of the British at Simla and demanded separate electorates. Three months later, the All-India Muslim League was founded by Nawab Salimullah Khan at Dhaka, mainly with the objective of safeguarding the political rights and interests of the Muslims. The British conceded separate electorates in the Government of India Act of 1909 which confirmed the Muslim League's position as an All-India party. Attempt for Hindu Muslim Unity The visible trend of the two major communities progressing in opposite directions caused deep concern to leaders of All-India stature. They struggled to bring the Congress and the Muslim League on one platform. Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) was the leading figure among them. After the annulment of the partition of Bengal and the European Powers' aggressive designs against the Ottoman Empire and North Africa, the Muslims were receptive to the idea of collaboration with the Hindus against the British rulers.
The Congress Muslim League rapprochement was achieved at the Lucknow sessions of the two parties in 1916 and a joint scheme of reforms was adopted. In the Lucknow Pact. as the scheme was commonly referred to, the Congress accepted the principle of separate electorates, and the Muslims, in return for `weightage' to the Muslims of the Muslim minority provinces, agreed to surrender their thin majorities in the Punjab and Bengal. The post Lucknow Pact period witnessed Hindu Muslim amity and the two parties came to hold their annual sessions in the same city and passed resolutions of identical contents.
Khilafat Movement. The Hindu Muslim unity reached its climax during the Khilafat and the Non-cooperation Movements. The Muslims of soothsayer, under the leadership of the Ali Brothers, Maulana Mohammad Ali and Maulana Shaukat Ali, launched the historic Khilafat Movement after the First World War to protect the Ottoman Empire from dismemberment. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) linked the issue of Swaraj (self-government) with the Khilafat issue to associate the Hindus with the Movement. the ensuing Movement was the first countrywide popular movement.
Although the Movement failed in its objectives, it had a far-reaching impact on the Muslims of South Asia. After a long time, they took united action on a purely Islamic issue which momentarily forged solidarity among them. It also produced a class of Muslim leaders experienced in organizing and mobilizing the public. This experience was of immense value to the Muslims later during the Pakistan Movement The collapse of the Khilafat Movement was followed by a period of bitter Hindu Muslim antagonism. The Hindus organized two highly anti Muslim movements, the Shudhi and the Sangathan. The former movement was designed to convert Muslims to Hindusim and the latter was meant to create solidarity among the Hindus in the event of communal conflict. In retaliation, the Muslims sponsored the Tabligh and Tanzim organizations to counter the impact of the Shudhi and the Sangathan. In the 1920s, the frequency of communal riots was unprecedented. Several Hindu-Muslim unity conferences were held to remove the causes of conflict, but, it seemed nothing could mitigate the intensity of communalism. Muslim Demand Safeguards In the light of this situation, the Muslims revised their constitutional demands. They now wanted preservation of their numerical majorities in the Punjab and Bengal, separation of Sindh from Bombay, constitution of Balochistan as a separate province and introduction of constitutional reforms in the North-West Frontier Province. It was partly to press these demands that one section of the All-India Muslim League cooperated with the Statutory commission sent by the British Government under the chairmanship of Sir John Simon in 1927.
The other section of the League, which boycotted the Simon Commission for its all-White character, cooperated with the Nehru Committee, appointed by the All-Parties Confernece, to draft a constitution for India. The Nehru Report had an extremely anti-Muslim bias and the Congress leadership's refusal to amend it disillusioned even the moderate Muslims. Allama Muhammad Iqbal Several leaders and thinkers, having insight into the Hindu-Muslim question proposed separation of Muslim India. However, the most lucid exposition of the inner feeling of the Muslim community was given by Allama Muhammad Iqbal(1877-1938) in his Presidential Address at the All-India Muslim League Session at Allahabad in 1930. He suggested that for the healhy development of Islam in South-Asia, it was essential to have a separate Muslim state at least in the Muslim majority regions of the north-west. Later on, in his correspondence with Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, he included the Muslim majority areas in the north-east also in his proposed Muslim state. Three years after his Allahabad Address, a group of Muslim students at Cambridge, headed by Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, issued a pamphlet, Now or Never, in which drawing letters from the names of the Muslim majority regions, they gave the nomenclature of "Pakistan" to the proposed State. Very few even among the Muslim welcomed the idea at the time. It was to take a decade for the Muslims to embrace the demand for a separate Muslim state. Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah Meanwhile, three Round Table Conferences were convened in London during 1930-32, to resolve the Indian constitutional problem. The Hindu and Muslim leaders, who were invited to these conferences, could not draw up an agreed formula and the British Government had to announce a `Communal Award' which was incorporated in the Government of India Act of 1935. Before the elections under this Act, the All-India Muslim League, which had remained dormant for some time, was reorganized by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who had returned to India in 1934,after an absence of nearly five years in England. The Muslim League could not win a majority of Muslim seats since it had not yet been effectively reorganized. However, it had the satisfaction that the performance of the Indian National Congress in the Muslim constituencies was bad. After the elections, the attitude of the Congress leadership was arrogant and domineering. The classic example was its refusal to form a coalition government with the Muslim League in the United Provinces. Instead, it asked the League leaders to dissolve their parliamentary arty in the Provincial Assembly and join the Congress. Another important Congress move after the 1937 elections was its Muslim mass contact movement to persuade the Muslims to join the congres and not the Muslim League. One of its leaders, Jawaharlal Nehru, even declared that there were only two forces in India, the British and the Congress. All this did not go unchallenged.
Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah countered that there was a third force in South-Asia constituting the Muslims. The All-India Muslim League, under his gifted leadership, gradully and skilfully started organising the Muslims on one platform. Towards a Separate Muslim Homeland The 1930s witnessed awareness among the Muslims of their separate identity and their anxiety to preserve it within separate territorial boundaries. An important element that brought this simmering Muslim nationalism in the open was the character of the Congress rule in the Muslim minority rpovinces during 1937-39. The Congress policies in these provinces hurt Muslim susceptibilities. There were calculated aims to obliterate the Muslims as a separate cultural unit. The Muslims now stopped thinking in terms of seeking safeguards and began to consider seriously the demand for a separate Muslim state. During 1937-39, several Muslim leaders and thinkers, inspired by Allama Iqbal's ideas, presented elaborate schemes for partitioning the subcontinent according to two-nation theory. Pakistan Resoluation The All-India Muslim League soon took these schemes into consideration and finally, on March 23, 1940, the All-India Muslim League, in a resolution, at its historic Lahore Session, demanded a separate homeland for the Muslims in the Muslim majority regions of the subcontinent. The resolution was commonly referred to as the Pakistan Resolution. The Pakistan demand had a great appeal for the Muslims of every persuasion. It revived memories of their past greatness and promised future glory. They, therefore, responded to this demand immediately. Cripps Mission The British Government recognized the genuineness of the Pakistan demand indirectly in the proposals for the transfer of power after the Second World War which Sir Stafford Cripps brought to India in 1942. Both the Congress and the All-India Muslim League rejected these proposals for different reasons. The principles of secession of Muslim India as a separate Dominion was however, conceded in these proposals. After this failure, a prominent Congress leader, C. Rajgopalacharia, suggested a formula for a separate Muslim state in the Working Committee of the Indian National Congress, which was rejected at the time, but later on, in 1944, formed the basis of the Jinnah-Gandhi talks.

Demand for Pakistan
The Pakistan demand became popular during the Second World War Every section of the Muslim community-men , women,students,Ulema and businessmen-were organized under the banner of the All-India Muslim League. Branches of the party were opened even in the remote corners of the subcontinent. Literature in the form of pamphlets, books, magazines and newspapers was produced to expalin the Pakistan demand and distributed widely. The support gained by the All-India Muslim League and its demand for Pakistan was tested after the failure of the Simla Conference, convened by the Viceroy, Lord Wavell, in 1945. Elections were called to determine the respective strength of the political parties. The All-India Muslim League election campaign was based on the Pakistan demand. The Muslim community responded to this call in an unprecedented way. Numerous Muslim parties were formed making united parliamentary board at the behest of the Congress to oppose the Muslim League. But the All-India Muslim League swept all the thirty seats in the Central Legislature and in the provincial elections also, its victory was outstanding. After the elections, on April 8-9,1946, the All-India Muslim League called a convention of the newly-elected League members in the Central and Provincial Legislatures at Delhi. This convention, which constituted virtually a representative assembly of the Muslims of South Asia, on a motion by the Chief Minister of Bengal, Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy, reiterated the Pakistan demand in clearer terms. Cabinet Plan In early 1946, the British Government sent a Cabinet Mission to the subcontinent to resolve the constitutional deadlock. The Mission conducted negotiations with various political parties, but fialed to evolve an agreed formula. Finally, the Cabinet Mission announced its own Plan, which among other provisions, envisaged three federal groupings,two of them comprising the Muslim majority provinces, linked at the Centre in a loose federation with three subjects. The Muslim League accepted the plan, as a strategic move, expecting to achieve its objective in not-too-distant a future. The All-India Congress also agreed to the Plan, but, soon realising its implications, the Congress leaders began to interpret it in a way not visualized by the authoris of the Plan. This provided the All-India Muslim League an excuse to withdraw its acceptance of the Plan and the party observed August 16, as a `Direct Action Day' to show Muslim solidarity in support of the Pakistan demand. Partition Scheme In October 1946, an Interim Government was formed. The Muslim League sent its representative under the leadership of its General Secretary, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, with the aim to fight for the party objective from within the Interim Government. After a short time, the situation inside the Interim Government and outside convinced the Congress leadership to accept Pakistan as the only solution of the communal problem. The British Government, after its last attempt to save the Cabinet Mission Plan in December 1946, also moved towards a scheme for the partition of India. The last British Viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten, came with a clear mandate to draft a plan for the transfer of power.
After holding talks with political leaders and parties, he prepared a Partition Plan for the transfer of power, which, after approval of the British Government, was announced on June 3,1947. Emergence of Pakistan Both the Congress and the Muslim League accepted the Plan. Two largest Muslim majority provinces, Bengal and Punjab, were partitioned. The Assemblies of West Punjab, East Bengal and Sindh and in Balochistan, the Quetta Municipality, and the Shahi Jirga voted for Pakistan. Referenda were held in the North-West Frontier Province and the District of Sylhet in Assam, which resulted in an overwhelming vote for Pakistan. As a result, on August 14,1947, the new state of Pakistan came into existence.

Pakistan's Art

Pakistan, the Indus land, is the child of the Indus in the same way as Egypt is the gift of Nile. The Indus has provided unity, fertility, communication, direction and the entire landscape to the country. Its location marks it as a great divide as well as a link between central Asia and south Asia. But the historical movements of the people from Central Asia and South Asia have given to it a character of its own and have established closer relation between the people of Pakistan and those of Central Asia in the field of culture, language, literature, food, dress, furniture and folklore. However, it is the Arabian Sea that has opened the doors for journey beyond to the Arabian world through the Gulf and Red Sea right into the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia and Egypt. It is this Sea voyage that gave to the Indus Land its earliest name of Meluhha because the Indus people were characterized as Malahha (Sailor) in the Babylonian records. It is for this reason that the oldest civilization of this land, called Indus Civilization, had unbreakable bonds of culture and trade link with the Gulf States of Dubai, Abu Dabi, Sharja, Qatter, Bahrain and right from Oman to Kuwait. While a Meluhhan village sprang up in ancient Mesopotamia (Modern Iraq), the Indus seals, painted pottery, lapis lazuli and many other items were exchanged for copper, tin and several other objects from Oman and Gulf States. It is to facilitate this trade that the Indus writing was evolved in the same proto-symbolic style as the contemporary cuneiform writing of Mesopotamia. Much later in history it is the pursuit of this seaward trade that introduced Islam from Arabia in to Pakistan. The twin foundations of cultural link have helped build the stable edifice of Islamic civilization in this country. All these cultural developments are writ-large in the personality of the people of Pakistan.

As in many other countries of the world, man in Pakistan began with the technology of working on old stone by using quartzite and flint found in Rohri hills and stone pebbles found in the Soan Valley. The oldest stone tool in the world, going back to 2.2 million years old, has been found at Rabat, about fifteen miles away from Rawalpindi, thus breaking the African record. The largest hand Axe has also been found in the Soan Valley. Although man is still hiding in some corner, the Soan pebble stone age culture show a link with the Hissar Culture in Central Asia. Later about fifty thousand B.C. at Sangho Cave in Mardan District man improved his technology for working on Quartz in order to chase the animal in closed valleys. Still later he worked on micro quartz and chert or flint and produced arrows, knives, scrapers and blades and hunted the feeling deer and ibexes with bow and arrow. Such an hunting scene is well illustrated on several rock carvings, particularly near Chilas in the Northern Areas of Pakistan along the Karakorum Highway - a style of rock art so well known in the trans- Pamir region of Tajikistan and Kirghizstan. However, the first settled life began in the eight millennium B.C. when the first village was found at Mehergarh in the Sibi districts of Balochistan comparable with the earliest villages of Jericho in Palestine and Jarmo in Iraq. Here their mud houses have been excavated and agricultural land known for the cultivation of maize and wheat. Man began to live together in settled social life and used polished stone tools, made pots and pans, beads and other ornaments. His taste for decoration developed and he began to paint his vessels, jars, bowls, drinking glasses, dishes and plates. It was now that he discovered the advantage of using metals for his tools and other objects of daily use. For the first time in seventh millennium B.C. he learnt to use bronze. From the first revolution in his social, cultural and economic life. He established trade relation with the people of Turkamenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and other Arab world.

He not only specialized in painting different designs on pottery, made varieties of pots and used cotton and wool but also made terracotta figurines and imported precious stones from Afghanistan and Central Asia. This early bronze age culture spread out in the country side of Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and North West Frontier Province.

And this early beginning led to the concentration of population into small towns. Such as Kot-Diji in Sindh and Rehman Dheri in Dera Ismail Khan District. It is this social and Cultural change that led to the rise of the famous cities of Mohenjodaro and Harappra, the largest concentration of population including artisans, craftsman, businessmen and rulers. This culminated in the peak of the Indus Civilization, which was primarily based on intensive irrigated land agriculture and overseas trade and contact with Iran, Gulf States, Mesopotamia and Egypt. Dams were built for storing river water, land was Cultivated by means of bullock- harnessed plough - a system that still prevails in Pakistan, granaries for food storage were built, furnace were used for controlling temperature for making red pottery and various kinds of ornaments, beads of carnelian, agate and terracotta were pierced through, and above all they traded their finished goods with Central Asia and Arab world. It is these trade divided that enriched the urban populace who developed a new sense of moral honesty, discipline and cleanliness, and above all a social stratification in which the priests and the mercantile class dominated the society. The picture of high civilization can be gathered only by looking at the city of Mohenjodaro, the first planned city in the world, in which streets are aligned straight, parallels to each other, with a cross streets cutting at right angles. It is through these wide streets that wheeled carriages, drawn by bulls or asses, moved about, carrying well-adorned persons seated on them, appreciating the closely aligned houses, made of pucca bricks, all running straight along the streets. And then through the middle of the streets ran stone dressed drains covered with stone slabs - a practice of keeping the streets clean from polluted water, for the first time seen in the world.

The Indus Civilization is the first literate Civilization of the subcontinent. The cities were centres of art and craft. Where the artisan produced several kinds of goods that were exported to other countries. Sailing boats sailed out from Mohenjodaro and anchored in the port of the Gulf, which region was perhaps known as Dilmin. However, it was the city administration that managed the urban life in strict discipline and controlled the trade in their hands. The discipline is derived from the strict practice of meditation (yoga) that was practiced by the elite of the city, who appear to have trimmed their beard and hair combed and tied with golden fillets. The body was covered with a shawl bearing trefoil designs on them. Such a noble man with a sharp nose and long wish eyes shows a contrast with a bronze figurine of a dancing and singing girl, plying music with her fully bang led hand, as we find today with the Cholistan ladies having bangled hands. Obviously there were distinctive ethnic groups of people in Mohenjodaro but the dominant class of rulers and merchants appear to be distinctive from the rest of the population. It is these literate people who inter- acted with the Arabian people and continued to maintain strict discipline in the society. It is they who developed astronomy, mathematics, and science in the country along with numerical symbols, weights and measures but they thoroughly intermixed in the society and also believed in the local cult of tree and tree deities and animal totems. The most prominent animals as attested in the seals are bull, buffalo, elephant, tiger, rhinoceros, alligator and deer and ibexes. However, Mesopotamian influences are seen in the figures of Gilgamash, Enkidu, joint statue of the bull and man and other animals with several heads and bodies. However, the unique local concept is that of highly meditative man, seated in his heels, with three or four heads, and combining in himself the power to control the animals probably with a crown of horns or some times a tree overhead. It is this supreme deity, depicted on Seals, that draws the serpent worshippers and overpowers the animals. A part from these there was no concept of nature worship as we find in the Vedas of the Aryans. The ritual consisted of offerings through the intermediary of mythological composite animals to the tree deity. These dose not appear to have been any concept of animals sacrifice nor worship of any idol or idols. The Indus civilization lasted for nearly five hundred years and flourished up to 1750 B.C. when we notice the movements of nomadic tribes in Central Asia. As a result the Asian trade system was greatly disturbed. Consequently the trade and industry of the Indus people greatly suffered with the result that led to the end of the Civilization. The cities vanished, the noble lost their position. The writing finished. The common people met with the influx of new horse-riding pastoralists who hardly understood the system of irrigated agriculture and hence the value of dams. Such nomadic tribes are known from the large number of graves and their village settlements all over Swat, Dir and Bajaur right up to Taxila. In the Northern Areas of Pakistan different group of such tribes, known as Dardic people are known from their graves. The tribes of the plains are recognized as different groups of the Aryans from the hilly tribes of the North- the ancestors of the Kalash people and those who now speak Shina, Burushaski and other Kohistani languages. They had nothing to do with the cities as we find them building small villages nor did they know irrigation. Infect they believed in nature gods, one of them Indra destroyed the dams and spelled disaster on the local Dasyus who differed from them in colour, creed and language. These Aryans conquerors developed there own religion of the Vedas, practiced animal sacrifice and gradually built up tribal kingdoms all over the Indus Valley. The most prominent being that of Gandhara with capitals at Pushkalavati (modern Charsadda) and Taxila, the last having been the older capital of Takshaka, the king of serpent worshippers. Taksha-sila (a Sanskrit word, literally translated in to Persian Mari-Qila) survive in modern Margala. It become the strong hold of the Aryans, whose great epic book Mahabharata was for the first time recited here. Since that time Takshka-sila or Taxila lying on the western side of Margala remained the capital of the Indus land, which was called Sapta- Sindhu (the land of seven rivers) by the Aryans. It because of this central location, en routs from Central to South Asia that the new capital of Pakistan has been established at Islamabad on the eastern side of Margala hill , thus giving a historical link from the most ancient to modern time and new significance to Pakistan as a link between Central and South Asia.

The city of Taxila began to grow from 6th century B.C. onward when Achaemenian kings by name Cyrus and Darius joined this city by road and postal services with their own capital at Persepolis in Iran. Here one can see the Aryan village at Hatial mound lying above the pre-Aryan bronze age capital of Takshakas (Serpent worshippers). One can also visit the Achaemenian city at Bhir mound, where old bazaars and royal palace, with long covered drain, have been discovered. Land rout trade with Iran and the west once again started with the issue of coin currency for the first time in the Indus land. But the most important was the great use of iron technology, which produced several kind of iron tools, weapons and other objects of daily use as known as from the excavations at Taxila. Above all a new writing known as Kharoshti was developed here. At the same time the oldest University of the world was founded at Taxila, where taught the great grammarian Panini, born at the modern village of Lahur in Sawabi district of the Frontier Province. It is the basis of this grammar that modern linguistics has been developed. It is in this University that Chandra Gupta Maurya got his education, who later founded the first sub continental empire in South Asia. He developed the Mauryan city at Bhir mound in Taxila, where ruled his grandson, Ashoka, twice as governor. He introduced Buddhism in Gandhara and built the first Buddhist monastery, called Dharmarajika Vihara, at Taxila. Ashoka has left behind his Rock Edicts at two palaces, one at Mansehra and another at Shahbazgari, written in Kharoshti.

Long before the rise of Chandra Gupta Maurya the Achaemenian empire, that had extended from Pakistan to Greece and Egypt, had collapsed under the onslaught of Alexander of Macedonia. He first finished with the Greek city states, united the Greeks, and dashed forward to annex the Achaemenian empire and hence proceeded to all those places where the Achaemenian had ruled. In this march they come to Taxila in 326 B.C. where he was welcomed by the local king Ambhi in his palace at Bhir mound. It is here as well as at Bhira in Jhelum district that Alexander's remains can be seen. However, he fought the greatest battale on the bank of the Jhelum river opposite the present village of Jalalpur Sharif against Porus, the head of the heroic Puru tribe, whose descendents still supply military personal to the Pakistan army. Alexander's battle place was at Mong, where he founded a new city, called Nikea, the city of victory. The other city which he founded was called Bucaphela after the name of his horse that died here. However, the most captivating site is at Jalalpur Shaif, laying on the bank of rivulet Gandaria, perhaps Sikanaria, where Alexander's monument has now been built on the spot where he stopped for about two months before launching his attack on Porus.

The Achaemenian and Alexander's contacts with Pakistan are very important from the point of view of educational and Cultural history. The Achaemenian brought the learning and science of Mesopotamia Civilization that enriched the University of Taxila. They also introduced their administrative system here, on the basis of which the famous book on political science, called Arthasastra was written in Sanskrit language in Taxila by Kautilya, known as Chanakya, the teacher of Chandra Gupta Maurya. It is this book that was adapted for the administrative of the Mauryan empire. On the basis of Achaemenian currency the Mauryan punch marked coins. So well known in Taxila, were produced. It is their Aramaic writing, used by Achaemenian clerks, that led to the development of Kharoshti in Pakistan and trade with the Semitic world that created the Brahmi writing in India. On the other hand Alexander brought Greek knowledge and science to Taxila and introduced Greek type of coin currency. It is Taxila that philosophers and men of learning of the two countries met and developed science, mathematics and astronomy. Above all Alexander left behind large number of Greeks in Central Asia, who founded the Bactrian Greek kingdom in mid-third century B.C. it is the descendants of these Bactrian Greeks who later advanced in to Pakistan and built up the Greek kingdom here and built up their own city at Sirkap in Taxila. This is the second well planned city in Pakistan. The Greeks introduced their language, art and religion in the country of Gandhara, where ruled thirteen Greek kings and queens. Their language lasted more than five hundred years and their art and religion and considerable influence on the flourish of Gandhara Civilization.

This civilization was the result of interaction of several peoples who followed the Greeks, the Scythians, the Parthians and Kushans who came one the other from Central Asia along the Silk Road and integrated them selves into the local society. It is under their patronage that Buddhism evolved here into its new Mahayana form and this become the religion of the contemporary people in Pakistan. Under their encouragement the Buddhist monks moved along the Silk Road freely and carried this religion to central Asia, China, Korea and Japan. It is again the trade along the silk road that was particularly controlled by the Kushana emperors, who built a mighty empire with Peshawar as their Capital, the boundaries of which extended from the Aral Sea to the Arabian Sea and from Afghanistan to the Bay of Bengal. It is the dividends of trade that enriched Pakistan and led to the development of Gandhara Art, which mirrors the social, religious and common man's life of the time. It is an art that was blend of the Greek classical and local arts, which created the finest statues of Buddha and Buddhisatttvas that today decorate the museums all over the world. At the same time the sculpture depict the whole life of the Buddha in a manner that is unsurpassed. Many Greek themes, their gods, typical toilet trays, Greek life scenes showing musicians, drinking bouts and love making are presented in there natural fashion. The Kushanas period was the golden age of Pakistan as the Silk Road trade brought unparalleled prosperity to the people of the country.

The luxury items produced in the country enrich the museum at Taxila at that show the Cultural and trends of life of the time. Gandhara art is the high water achievement of the people of Pakistan. Mahayana Buddhism was the inspiring ideal of the time and the Buddhist stupas and monasteries survive in every nook and corner of the hills. It was this time that the country was known as Kushana-shahar, the land of the Kushanas, to which came the Romanships to carry the luxury goods in exchange for Roman Siler and Gold, that were used by the Kushana emperors and as a result their gold currency flooded the country and all along the Silk road. It is these Kushana kings who have gifted the national dress of shalwar and kamiz and sherwani to Pakistan. Their dress and decorations are deeply imprinted on the Indus land, that is now Pakistan.

Then came from Central Asia the Huns and the Turks who gave to Pakistan the present ethnic, their Culture, Food and Adab. The Jats, Gakkhars, Janjuas (Jouanjouan of the Chinese) and Gujars all trekked into Pakistan and made their home here. The Rajput rose and founded the feudal system in Punjab and Sindh in the same way the Pashtuns, who borrowed the surname of Gul and later the title of Khan from the Mongols, their Sardari system in Balochistan, and slowly developed the Wadera practice in the Indus delta region of Sindh. This feudal arrangements, which was the result of confederated tribes of the Huns, led to new administrative system in the country and created a new form of land management that has lasted until today. The tribes have fused into the agricultural society but their brotherhoods have survived and they have given a permanent character to Pakistan.

In the early eight Century A.D. the Arabs brought Islam in Sindh and Multan built up the kingdom of Al-Mansurah in Sindh. At the same time their east ward Sea trade introduced porcelain and called on were from China and popularized glass were from Iran Syria- new materials that can be seen in the excavations at Bambhore in Sindh. With the Muslims Turks came the Sufis and Dervishes from Central Asia. Iran and Afghanistan and they spread Islam all over the country. It is Sultan Mahamud of Ghazni who made Lahore- the city of Data Sahib as his second capital. However, the city of Multan become famous as the city of Saints although it lay en route the camel caravan that carried on trade between Pakistan and Central Asia right up to Baku in Azerbaijan. It is these cities that the famous Muslims monuments of old are to be seen. As a result of the Saintly activity Pakistan become a land of Islamic Civilization. In several villages and cities we now find the Dargah of these Muslims Saints. While Shahbaz Kalandar is a well known in Sindh, Baba Farid Shakarganj resided over Pak Pattan in Punjab, Buner Baba rules over the Frontier region, and Syed Ali Hamdani is the real Sufi Saint in Kashmir. The capital city of Islamabad enshrines the well known Golra Sharif and Barri Imam. It is in these Saints who influenced the development of Sufi literature in all the languages of Pakistan and their monumental tombs that attract the people from all the country. In the old city of Thatta at Makli hill several tombs and Mausoleums are spread over the place that surpass in the beauty of stone carving but much more than this they evidence the historical evolution of architecture from 12th century A.D. to the Mughal time.

This was a period of great change in the historical integration of the people in Pakistan when the country was brought closer to Central Asia and the Arab world. The mixing of several tribes from both these regions transformed the ethnic complex of the country. Just as in the period of Kushanas of Mahayana type rose here and the Buddhist monks out from this land along the Silk road to carry the massage of the Buddha, now it was the Arabs and the Muslims Saints from Central Asia who came in the reverse direction and flocked in the prosperous land of Pakistan. New trade route were opened in the reverse direction from those countries into the Indus land. From the Huns to the Turks the age of cavalry dominated the life scene. Many Rock carvings in Central Punjab show men riding, even standing on horse back and brandishing their swords and shooting arrows. Hence forward Polo game become common and sword dance was common, as seen in the Rock carving near Chilas. The foundation of Muslims state was firmly laid, in which the dominate position first occupied by the Arabs in Sindh and Multan and later by the Gaznavid and Ghorid Sultans who made the Indus country as their spring board from the onward conquest of India. A beautiful monument in memory of sultan Ghori can be seen at Suhawa on the National Highway. It was therefore in the fitness of things that the first missile made in Pakistan was named after Ghori. Several Muslims kingdoms grew up in this country. Beginning from north we find the Tarkhan ruling dynasty, who came from trans-pamir region here and become supreme in the Gilgit area. The descendent of Shah Mir founded the Muslims Sultanate in Kashmir maintained its independents until the time of the Mughal emperor Akbar. The Pushtun tribes made their movements and asserted their independence in the land watered by the western branch of the Indus River. The Langhas and later the Arghuns become the Master of Multan. The Sama ruling dynasty started a new era of Cultural development and prosperity in Sindh. The Baluchis in concert with Brahuis leapt forward not only to build their kingdom in Balochistan but also migrated eastward and northward. Apart from these political shape of the country, there was an unparalleled development in art and architecture, literature and music, and particularly new social integration took place on the basis of the patronage of local languages, such as Baluchi, Sindhi, Panjabi, Pashto, Kashmiri, Shina and Burushaski. All these languages received literary form with the support of the Muslims rulers and the first time their literatures began to take shape. They received influence from Arabic and Persian and added many themes from the Folklores as well as from those of Central Asia. Such an unusual developments transformed the society with the stories from Shahnama and Hazar Dastan and with the Folk-tales from Lila-Majnun, Sassi-Punnu and Hir-Ranjha. The stringed instruments, the dholak and the dhap and also flute and trinklets gave a new tone to the life of the people of Multan, Thatta, Marha Shrif in D.I. Khan, Swat and Kashmir, and finally Gilgit, Hunza and Baltistan created the finest architecture of the time. That was the period of new religious activity in the country side when Islam become the dominant religion of the people who were directly linked in religious ties with the people of Central Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and Arab world.

The migrant people had brought the new technology of straining the horse from Central Asia and Iran. Were ever the horse galloped right up the corner of Bengal and Orissa, the Turks and Afghans advanced from Pakistan and established new empires. Here the artisans and craftsman gathered in new centre, cities began to grow with new craft mohallas, and they began to specialise in the products of Shawl and carpets in Kashmir, chapkan, chadar and dopatta in Punjab and Chitral and Northern Areas, tile work in Multan, Hala and Hyderabad, block printing in Sindh and fine carpentry in Chiniot, Bhira and Dera Ismail Khan. As a result several families occupied themselves in traditional crafts and passed them on to their own children.

Then came the Mughal emperors, descendent of Amir Timur, who, following the Mongol ruler Changiz Khan, had embarked on building a new world empire on the basis of organizing a new type of cavalry and making a new disciplined army in the unites of hundred and thousand. The later still survive in the name of Hazara both in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The first Mughal emperor, Zahiruddin Muhammad Baber, who had to come out from Farghana, brought a new taste of poetry, baghicha and architectural forms from the natural environment and landscape from Farghana and Samarqand, latter city reflecting the delicious water of Zarafshan (golden) river. Baber built his first terraced garden in Kabul and then choose the beautiful spot at Kalda or Kallar Kahar in Chakwal district and built here Bagh-i-Safa on the very spot marked by this throne seat. It was again terraced garden watered by a near by spring. At the old Bhira on the bank of Jhelum he built a fort and then proceeded to Shah Dara (the Royal pass Gate) that opened his route the city of Lahore. At Shah Dara several garden were laid by by the Mughal noblemen but only one is preserved inside Jahangir tomb that was built by his queen Nur Jehan who lies buried in another mausoleums. The tomb along with the garden is now desolate. There is also Kamran's baradari, without the garden, that still defies the flood of the Ravi river. When the Mughal emperors followed Baber one after the other, they choose the old Lahore on the bank of Ravi to their main Urban centres in Punjab. It was developed as a city of gardens with numerous gardens around but the main Mughal fortress was built in an Island, surrounded by the Ravi on the three sides and only on the east it was joined to the city proper. Here third Mughal emperor Akbar transferred his capital from Agra to meet the challenge of cousin Mirza Hakim. Here he laid the foundation of a typical Mughal citadel with royal residences, called Akbari Mahal and Jahangiri Mahal, with a prominent Diwan-i-Aam built in the traditional Iranian style, all constructed in red sand stone imported from Rajistan. Later Akbar's grandson Shah Jehan, the King of architecture, transformed many buildings and renewed to his taste with white marble. He added Diwan-i-Khas that overlooked Ravi, his palace and Turkish Bath and still more important the Moti Masjid, the gem of monuments, with beautiful decorative designs in precious stones set in marble.

However, his choicest building is the Shish Mahal, the Mirror Palace that was the constructed by the side of a Char-bagh style garden with running water channel and fountains, but later destroyed by the Sikhs, and quadrangles remodelled. Such garden, called Mehtab, can be seen in other quadrangles in the Fort. The Shish Mahal is the luxurious place of resort particularly during summer months with rest rooms of a long hall at its either end, opening on to the brilliantly dazzling Veranda that looks at the marble paved quadrangle with a fountain in the middle side. The mirror reflects the stars and the bedrooms presents, in its ceiling, the panorama of a star lit Sky. On the western side there is a unique building of Bengali style, called Naulakha, whose brilliance of precious stone outshone the natural setting of flowers and tree leaves that decorate the walls. Alas ' the Sikh and British soldiers have robbed many of the precious stones. Even then the Shish Mahal, even in its changed character by the Sikhs, presents a dazzling brilliance in its perfect creation by the Mughal emperor Shah Jehan. It is the climax of Mughal luxury surpassed nowhere in the world.

The exterior wall of the Shish Mahal one can see the beautiful mosaic paintings that depict everyday sport of the Mughal princes for the enjoyment of the people who used to gather below the fort not only to have a view of the emperor sitting in the Jharokha but also to admire the brilliance of colour on the wall. Here one can observe galloping horses, humped camels, elephant ride, hunting scene, animal fights, horse man plying polo or chaughan, camel fights, figures of angels, demon head sand moving clouds, horse and elephant riders crossing Swords and verities of floral and geometrical designs. There are three gates to enter the fort, all three of them showing different tastes. The Masti (or correctly Masjid) Gate on the east shows Akbar's taste of red sand stone. The Shahburj gate on the west presents the fine mosaic decorations of the time of Janhangir. The last is the Alamgiri gate built by Emperor Aurangzeb, showing tasteful simple entrance with multiple facetted Tower at either end, crowned by Kiosks.

From Shish Mahal one can have a magnificent view of the Badashahi Masjid built by Aurangzeb on a spot regained after the river Ravi shifted further away. Its magnificent Stair way leading to the elegant red sand stone gate way on the east is highly impressive. It is on the left side that later the tomb of Allama Iqbal was built. The gate way, which is preserved the relic of the Prophet and also in one of the copy of the Holy Qur'an with brilliant calligraphy, leads into a wide open courtyard, having a washing pond in its middle, and rows of cells on its sides. On its west is the main prayer chamber of oblong shape marked by four tall corner towers. On its roof are three marble dooms of bulbous shape that attract the eye from a long distance. The interior of the mosque has chaste decoration in the mehrab chamber that opened in to equally well decorated side aisles. It has a Verandah on the front that is again tastefully decorated. But the most elegant are the tall towers at four corners of the quadrangle, from the top of which one can have an unforgettable view of the city of Lahore.

There are two other beauties in the city of which the greatest monumental gems of Lahore. The first is the most chaste fully painted mosque of Wazir Khan, which was once the centre of religious and educational activities during the Mughals period. In its original design the mosque was fronted by an open maidan that presented from a distance a marvellous view of the mosque. It was built by Ilmuddin Ansari, hailing from the old trading city of Chiniot, but later he gave rise to the city of Wazirabad. He was raised to the high post of governor by Shah Jehan for his devoted service and great skill of Hikmat. But of greater importance in his taste of decorative architecture which he has translated into this mosque. The mosque plan, which is typical Mughals style but for its squat domes has tall minarets crowned by tasteful Chhatris. The most attractive is the mosaic ornamentation of the facade, the minars, and particularly the mihrab, which remains unsurpassed in its setting and choice of decorations and calligraphic work. In its charging decoration the mosque symbolises high sense of taste and marks a magnificent attraction in Lahore, to which both Shah Jehan as well as his officials gave a new face of colour and charm.

And yet the greatest jewel of the city of Lahore is the Shalimar Bagh, the unique pleasure resort that has been gifted to the world by the Mughal emperors. With paying a visit to this garden one can hardly understand the Mughal love for pleasances. In its creation what a real pleasure they have bestowed to the people of Lahore. The garden sumbolises the elixir of life that the Mughals alone could imagine. They had long left Farghana but the beauteous charm of its terraced fields lingered behind that has been recaptured in the Char bagh style of the garden in Shalimar, as Taj Mahal in Agra is the symbol of unforgettable love of emperor Shah Jehan, in the form of unique architectural creation, for the beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal, so is the Shalimar, the epitome, of Shala (fire of love), the embodiment of the highest playful joy in life that the emperor and empress could have in this world. The garden is a combination of Char baghs, water channels, fountains, Cascades, water falls and bathing hall in three different terraces, each terrace headed by beautiful pavilions for a pause of pleasurable enjoyment and then to pass on the other ponds of joy, inset with showering fountains, each terrace presenting varieties in scenic complex. Starting from a elaborate gate way in the south , with a water fountain in its middle chamber, we enter the open space, surrounded on right and left, by residential quarters, having long walkways, in the middle of either side of a channel marked by fountain, that join together on the four sides on a watery platform. And then we pass to the first pavilion that looks at a square pond remarkable sitting a cascade of a water falling down below the pavilion, series of fountains around a central seat for musicians and dancers and smaller pavilions at the four corners. From the top pavilion the elite royalties draw their pleasure from the scenic panorama in front and from the corner pavilions guests could roll in pleasance and enjoy the music of the running fountains coupled with the music of the singers and dancers. The next lower terrace begin with a rare bathing hall in the middle with water fountains lower down and lighted lamps in the arched niches of the walls. Here one could cool the legs during summer months- a novel way of cooling the atmosphere in the days when there were no electricity and air conditioners. And thus we find here a thrilling atmosphere where natural art has been channelised in the service of man. What a creation of charming loveliness that is combined with cooling water in various forms to soothe the evening of warm Lahore.

That is not all of Mughal architecture. If one likes to see the Mughal fondness for hunting, one can go to Sheikhupura, not far from Lahore , and admire the construction of Hiran Minar by Emperor Jahangir on the spot where his dearly loved deer died. That minar stands by the side of a tank which has in its middle a three storied pavilion for a general view around. If one is interested to see the defence arrangements of the Mughals, one can go to Attock on the bank of the Indus River, where Akbar built a magnificent fort, made arrangements for crossing the river by boat-bridge and laid a new road south of the Kabul river leading to Peshawar through the Khyber pass to Kabul. And then come to Attock the empress Nur Jahan, who constructed here a caravan serai, known as Begum Ki Serai, with a platform at its four corners and living rooms cooled by the Indus breeze. It is from one of the top platform that one could look at the magnificent expanse of the Indus River, full of flowing life and natural beauty, that perhaps will remain as the lasting memory of the Indus land, that is Pakistan.

Pakistan Navy

The Pakistan Navy (Urdu: پاک بحریہ) is the naval branch of the military of Pakistan. It is responsible for Pakistan's 1,046 kilometer (650 mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and the defense of important harbors. Navy day is celebrated on September 8 in commemoration of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.


The birth of the Royal Pakistan Navy came with the creation of Pakistan on 14 August 1947. The Armed Forces Reconstitution Committee (AFRC) divided the Royal Indian Navy between both India and Pakistan. The Royal Pakistan Navy secured two sloops, two frigates, four minesweepers, two naval trawlers, four harbour launches and some 358 personnel (180 officers and 34 ratings), and given the high percentage of delta areas on the Pakistan coast the Navy was given a number of Harbour Defence Motor Launches.

“ Today is a historic day for Pakistan, doubly so for those of us in the Navy. The Dominion of Pakistan has come into being and with it a new Navy – the Royal Pakistan Navy – has been born. I am proud to have been appointed to command it and serve with you at this time. In the coming months, it will be my duty and yours to build up our Navy into a happy and efficient force.” Quaid-E-Azam
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan."

The beginning

The Royal Pakistan Navy saw no action during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 as all the fighting was restricted to land warfare. In 1956 the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was proclaimed under the 1956 constitution. The prefix Royal was dropped and the service was re-designated as the Pakistan Navy, or "PN" for short. The PN Jack and Pakistan flag replaced the Queen's colour and the white ensign respectively. The order of precedence of the three services changed from Navy, Army, Air force to Army, Navy, Air Force. In February 1956, the British government announced supplying of several major surface combatants to Pakistan. These Warships, a cruiser and four destroyers were purchased with funds made available under the US Military Assistance Program. The acquisition of a few additional warships that is two destroyers, eight coastal minesweepers and an oiler (between 1956-63) was the direct result of Pakistan's participation in the anti-Communist defence pacts of SEATO and CENTO.

Indo-Pakistan war of 1965

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 the navy was involved in a conflict for the first time. Apart from carrying out a limited bombardment of the coastal town of Dwaraka - codenamed Operation Dwarka, the navy's submarine PNS Ghazi which was Pakistan's first submarine and remained the flagship submarine for Pakistan Navy till deployed against Indian Navy's western fleet at Bombay (Mumbai) port.

Indo-Pakistan war of 1971

Karachi housed the headquarters of the Pakistani Navy and almost the entire fleet was based at Karachi Harbour. Karachi was also the hub of Pakistan's maritime trade, meaning that a blockade would be disastrous for Pakistan’s economy. The defence of Karachi harbour was therefore paramount to the Pakistani High Command and it was heavily defended against any airstrikes or naval strike. Karachi received some of the best defence Pakistan had to offer as well as cover from strike aircraft based at two airfields in the area. On December 4th the Indian Navy launched a fast naval strike Operation Trident on the port. The task group for the operation consisted of 3 OSA class Missile boats, escorted by two Anti-submarine patrol vessels. Nearing the Karachi port, they detected Pakistani presence and launched missiles, hitting PNS Muhafiz and PNS Khyber, which both sank. PNS Shahjahan was also severely damaged.
The success of this operation prompted another attack on Pakistan coast named Operation Python on the night of
December 8, 1971. In rough seas a small strike group, consisting of missile boat Vinash and two multipurpose frigates, approached Karachi. In the ensuing battle, the Indian ships sank the Panamian vessel Gulf Star, while the Pakistan Navy's Dacca and the British ship SS Harmattan were badly damaged. The Pakistani fuel reserves for the sector were destroyed. The flames could be seen from 60 miles away. The Pakistan Navy's main ships were destroyed or forced to remain in port. The operations also set the oil storage tanks of Karachi on fire.Shipping traffic to and from Karachi—Pakistan's only major port at that time—ceased. Pakistan attempted to counter the Indian missile boat threat by carrying out bombing raids over Okha harbour—the forward base of the missile boats. The strikes were ineffective as the Indian missile boats had been moved elsewhere anticipating such a move. The Operation was so successful and kept the Pakistan Navy on alert, which raised a false alarm of another missile attack on December 6. PAF planes flew to attack the supposed Indian ship and damaged the vessel before it was identified as one of their own ships. PNS Zulfiqar suffered casualties and damage as a result of this friendly fire. The result was a crippling economic blow to Pakistan and was one of the factors that prompted Pakistan's surrender to India in a little over 10 days.
East Pakistan having been surrounded on all three sides by the Indian Army, the Navy was under immense pressure to protect the coast. The major threat from the PNS Ghazi—the only long range submarine—was nullified when it was sunk in the Bay of Bengal, directly or indirectly through the depth charges dropped by the Indian Navy's destroyer INS Rajput or by its own antiship mine that came back due to the rough sea. This enabled an easy blockade on East Pakistan by the Indian Navy.
The damage inflicted by both
Indian Navy and Indian Air Force on Pakistan Navy stood at seven gunboats, one submarine, one minesweeper, two destroyers, three patrol crafts belonging to the coast guard, 18 cargo, supply and communication vessels, with some more crafts damaged, and large scale destruction inflicted on the naval base and Docks in the coastal town of Karachi. Three merchant navy ships—Anwar Baksh, Pasni, Madhumathi—and ten smaller vessels were captured. The total number of personnel losses came to about 1900 and 1413 servicemen were captured by Indian forces in Dhaka(Official Pakistan losses). In contrast the Indian Navy lost 212 personnel, a frigate (another frigate damaged) and a naval plane Breguet Alizé to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). According to one Pakistan scholar, Tariq Ali, Pakistan Navy lost a third of its force in the war. The primary reason for this loss has been attributed to the central command's failure in defining a role for the Navy—or the military in general, in East Pakistan. Since then the Navy has sought to improve the structure and fleet by putting special emphasis on sub-surface warfare capability as it allows for the most efficient way to deny the control of Pakistani sea lanes to the adversary.

Post war

The Navy sought to diversify its purchases instead of depending solely on the United States, which had placed an arms embargo on both India and Pakistan. It sought more vessels from France and China. The Pakistan Navy thus became the first navy in
South Asia to acquire land based missile capable long range reconnaissance aircraft. During the 1980s the Pakistan Navy enjoyed un-preceded growth. It doubled its surface fleet from 8 to 16 surface combatants in 1989. In 1982, the Reagan administration approved US$3.2 billion military and economic aid to Pakistan. Pakistan acquired eight Brooke and Garcia-class frigates from US Navy on a five year lease in 1988. A depot for repairs, ex-USS Hector followed the lease of these ships in April 1989. However after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 US President George Bush was advised to no longer certify that Pakistan was not involved in the development of nuclear weapons and the Pressler’s Amendment was invoked on 1 October 1990. The lease of the first Brooke class frigate expired in March 1993, the remaining in early 1994. This seriously impaired the Pakistan Navy, which was composed almost entirely of former US origin ships. Pakistan began to concentrate on self-reliance for its defense production.

Atlantique incident

Atlantique Incident was a major international incident on 10 August 1999 where a Pakistan Navy plane (Breguet Atlantic) with 16 on board was shot down in the border area of the Kutch region with Pakistan and India both claiming the aircraft to be in their respective airspace by Indian Air Force jets. The wreckage however, fell well within Pakistani territory, giving credence to the Pakistani claim. The Indian Air Force stated that the Atlantique was trying to return to Pakistani airspace after intruding more than than 10 nautical miles and as such was headed towards Pakistan. At the speed of 400 knots at which the shootdown occurred most of the wreckage was expected to land at least 25 miles from the shootdown so Pakistani Army claims that the wreckage was found in Pakistan can be true even though the shootdown occurred in Indian Airspace. It resulted in escalated tensions between the two neighboring countries.

Tsunami relief activities

The Navy has been involved in some peacetime operations, most notably during the
tsunami tragedy that struck on December 26, 2004. Pakistan sent vessels to Sri Lanka and the Maldives to help in rescue and relief work